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Monday, 02 October
That Was The Weekend That Was

It was another chilling weekend at Chez Pfaff! Oh, how the icicles pierced our hearts! We visited a thoracic surgeon! "There's nothing wrong with your hearts," he declared flatly. Fuck you, surgeon.

It didn't start that chillingly. On Friday we were at the video store staring at the dismal, picked-over "Recent Arrivals" section, glumly noting that the only thing left to rent was some limp horror thing called, imaginatively, Stay Alive. I'm really looking forward to the upcoming sequel Why Don't People Listen? and then the capper of the trilogy, I Don't Know Why We Even Bother To Tell People To Stay Alive, Since These Dipshits Always Die. Naturally, we leaped to rent it.

But we needed a first act, something to watch while we were still lucid. I glared at a shiny DVD cover advertising Dorf on Euthanasia and suppressed a shudder. We wandered over to a section called "Controversial Classics," and looked over titles like Crash and Caligula and, troublingly, Dorf on Fisting.

In the end, the wife and I decided on Midnight Cowboy, a film neither of us had ever seen. All I knew about it was that it had won best picture, the only picture to do so when saddled with an X rating. "All riiiight!" I thought. "Bring on the fuckin'!" I was inwardly pleased that the wife agreed so easily to bring home a critically acclaimed spank movie.

What a rip! Midnight Cowboy features no sex at all! Unless you count the spectacle of Jon Voight getting blown in a theater by no less a personage such as Bob Balaban, and really? I don't count that as sex. I count that as cinematic ambush. "Hey, weird! I think that's Bob Balaban! Boy, he's young! Say, what's he doing? He's . . . he's . . . oh, NO, PLEASE STOP THAT, BOB BALABAN!"

All kidding aside, the wife and I were both utterly charmed by this movie, which is frankly touching as hell. The X rating, incidentally, was later rescinded by the still-idiotic MPAA to an R once cooler heads prevailed (the X was stamped on the film evidently only because the main character was a gay hustler), and the questions the film mainly raises today are: What happened to Jon Voight in the lonely years after this film? Did he eat himself? And: Should we reinstate the X rating after all these years because of the scene with Bob Balaban?

This fine film--which is, I stress, awesome in practically every way, including its reluctance to SPELL OUT EVERY FUCKING THING FOR Y'ALL--also of course has Mr. Dustin Hoffman as Ratso Rizzo, in a lauded performance which I frankly found pretty showy in a really Hoffmanesque manner that would later re-manifest itself in things like Rain Man, but I could handle it. Hoffman anyway has since attained the kind of silver-haired eminence that allows he and his ilk (Bobby DeNiro) to act in skin-peeling horrors like Meet the Fockers without the opprobrium that he would otherwise so deservedly receive.

The less said about Stay Alive the better, so naturally, I will speak more about this acid bath of a movie. Starring a bunch of anonymous young long pig marching ever onward to slaughter, this movie manages to deal with the following issues currently confronting society: Elizabeth Bathory, the infamous Czech slaughter queen, who inexplicably, in this movie, at some point moved to a black obelisk in Louisiana, and her taste for the blood of virgins; LAN parties; Bathory's subsequent insertion of her digital self into a bootleg video game, and also real life; the nature of the ultimate betrayal of the "Pause" function in certain un-beta-tested video games; and Frankie Muniz, America's least attractive child-cum-teenage actor, whose unsuccessful deployment of a visor rivals only Brian Austin Green's efforts in his post-90210 appearances. Muniz, who at all times resembles a small, worrisomely wrinkled mammal, does succeed in stirring minute amounts of sympathy in the audience, at least until everyone remembers that he was central to the nightmarish success of the unwatchable Malcolm in the Middle, and then everyone screams for blood.

But it was Sunday that really ruined things. For you see, my Seahawks unwisely entered Chicago, and were summarily steamrolled by the fucking Bears, who have obviously, after many years in the desert, sold their souls for an offense. The Seahawks were summarily blown completely off the field in a humiliating rout, and several Bears players were seen to have been reverently clutching squirrel heads as they gave thanks to Baal. For our part, several Seahawks simply abandoned the field after falling to 100,000-6 in the second quarter, and several cameras caught franchise stalwart Walter Jones wander to the sidelines to sell ties to any comers. "GETCHER TIES HERE!" screamed Jones, as he watched Matt Hasselbeck's spine collapse under a murderous hail of cheesesteaks.

While the Seahawks offense stuttered and made "No mas!" gestures, its vaunted defense was seen to take an urgent telemarketing call in some other stadium, and the massacre was on. Walter Jones continued to ply his trade on the sidelines: "TIES! These are really good ties." At halftime, Brian Urlacher was seen to approach the table.

"What are these made of?" inquired the All Star.

"Our dignity," replied Jones.

"I'll take three," said Urlacher.


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Comments

O my Lordy. You made futbol sound ....interesting.
Entertaining, even.
The only other instance in which this occured was when my ex g/f would get so excited over Gruden coaching the Bucs she would let me go down on her during half time.
If you are not a highly paid satirist you have missed your calling.

Comment number: 008459   Posted by: Alyxmyself on October 3, 2006 07:39 AM from IP: 67.155.164.227

Oh, dear god. I misread "Bob Balaban" as "Bob Barker" initially.

...actually, that might be kind of hot.

Comment number: 008460   Posted by: C on October 3, 2006 08:35 AM from IP: 70.148.180.50

You need to get an HDTV. Those weren't cheesesteaks, they were Polish sassajess.

Balaban shows up in the oddest places doesn't he? To hell with "Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon." You could probably do a "Four Degrees of Bob Balaban" game. Here's a guy who shows up in "Midnight Cowboy," "Seinfeld," "Gosford Park," "2010: The Year We Make Contact," "Altered States" and "Capote." Now THAT's a versatile actor!

Comment number: 008461   Posted by: Andrew on October 3, 2006 10:42 AM from IP: 70.98.240.174

You were only one verb tense away from true horror: Staying Alive.

Comment number: 008464   Posted by: flamingbanjo on October 4, 2006 09:43 AM from IP: 64.65.181.81

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